At What Age Did Your Toddler Start To Use Spoon To Self Feed?

Chelese - posted on 12/10/2011 ( 11 moms have responded )

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At what age do children start feeding themselves from spoons? My 12 month old vastly prefers me to feed him. But lately he has been taking the spoon wanting to do it himself. But I'm sure now is the time to start. Even though i'm sure it will be a mess I was thinking I can try foods that stick to the spoon. He can eat finger foods like the gerber puffs, fruits, cheerios and such. So that limits what he can feed himself. How soon do most children learn to spoon-feed themselves?

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[deleted account]

I gave gabby her own spoon to eat as soon as i started feeding her. She would always take bites on her own, missing quite frequently in the beginning. She now eats as good as any adult at 2 years.

Liz - posted on 12/11/2011

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By making a mess, that's how they learn! I bought a cheap plastic table cloth from the store and put that on the floor under his chair while he's learning. Makes for easier cleanup! Today is my 3rd son's 2nd birthday and he still doesn't eat very well from a spoon. I know my first son was feeding himself neatly from a spoon by like 15 months so they're all different. Good luck!

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Chelese - posted on 12/12/2011

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That's a very good tip about the cloth under the high chair. I think it will be fun to see how he gets all messy and experiment. I think it's amazing how everytime he sees me eat he's right there wanting some. Makes it kinda hard with some stuff though cause his teeth haven't come in yet. I can see them right there on the bottom row on his gums.

Sylvia - posted on 12/11/2011

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I honestly don't remember when DD started using a spoon, but she never wanted me to feed her -- nothing was going in her mouth that she hadn't picked up and shoved in there herself ;) I do remember that although she was still mostly nursing at 12 months, by 18 months she was eating applesauce with a spoon. So ... somewhere in that age range, I guess! (She's 9 now. It's hard to remember some of the details...)

I do know, they all make a mess at first but that's just part of the learning process. Spread a drop-cloth under the high chair and try not to stress about it too much ;)

Stifler's - posted on 12/11/2011

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That's what we have too, lino rolled out under the high chair/table

Chelese - posted on 12/11/2011

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I looked on amazon and saw those spoons you are talking about Elfrieda. I'm going to go to walmart or either purchase them online today. I'm going to just let him go at his pace. He's a little more held back on some things and more advanced than my first son Kaden. I wish to god I could remember when he stared self feeding with a spoon but that was 8 years ago. I know every child is different so i'm not going to worry about it at this point. With practice comes mastering and moving on to the next task. That and his walking are my two biggest priorities with walking being ahead of this.

Stifler's - posted on 12/11/2011

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I thought Logan would never get it but hes nearly 2 and can eat all his food without making a mess with the spoon. I started giving him a spoon at 9 months so it's been a messay year and a bit. Around 14 months he used it properly but once renae came along he regressed.

[deleted account]

My son has been able to spoon feed himself with "pre-loaded" spoons since he was 7 months old. Now he's 15mo, and we're still stuck at this phase!



I have no idea how to teach him to scoop food on to his spoon from a bowl or plate.

Elfrieda - posted on 12/10/2011

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I agree that those baby spoons that are long and narrow aren't good for when they are feeding themselves. You can get spoons with a small rounder bowl and a stubby little handle. I have a Gerber set; the spoon is great but the fork is useless. You could just give him a teaspoon and have done with it.



My son was a bit slower than some kids, I think. I don't have anyone exactly his age to compare him to. He didn't "get" the spoon until after he learned to use a fork (we give him a dessert fork). I think the spoon was 19 months (with a stiff food like porridge mixed with yogurt, not something runny like soup) and the fork was 18 months. For a while (a few months, starting around 14 months old) he really wanted to feed himself, but because he got so frustrated with the spoon, I just gave him finger food, and if I really wanted him to eat something goopy, I'd sneak spoonfuls in while he was also eating finger foods, just so he wouldn't dwell on the fact that he wasn't totally feeding himself. But the great thing is, MOST foods are finger foods! If it's messy, oh well, kids are washable. That's my take on it. :)



I think it's not too early to start teaching him. If you want him to learn, you can give him one spoon while you feed him with another spoon. Or fill one spoon, put it by the hand he favours (or in the middle so you can see which hand he uses), and then refill the other spoon while he's bringing the first spoonful to his mouth.



I did all that, but it still took a long time for him to get the hang of it, maybe because I didn't really make a big effort to teach him. But my friend is in early childhood education and she says that at the daycare they let the children feed themselves starting at 12 months, so I don't think you're starting too early.



Today was my son's 2nd birthday party, and for lunch he actually took a few spoonfuls of soup broth into his mouth with the spoon with some success! So they all learn eventually. :)

Chelese - posted on 12/10/2011

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I'm wondering if maybe I should try to get a bigger spoon? I'm worried that the baby spoons when I give that to him that he will just push it back in his mouth and choke on it.

[deleted account]

I started giving a spoon around 14 months. Prior to that most of the foods my daughter ate were finger foods. It has been messy, but she can use it now with moderate success (she's just turned 2). I introduced a fork about 2 months after the spoon. I use a regular spoon and a small salad fork for her. I found those were easier for her than the baby fork and spoons.

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